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The Only Way to Know if Your Decision is the Right One

Heads or Tails?
Do you like making great big life-changing decisions?

I’m talking about those choices that turn your life in a new direction; the ripples spreading out and touching every part of your life.  Those choices that change what you do and how you do it.

Those choices that leave you changed.

When there’s something bloody brilliant about to happen it’s pretty simple to say “Yes please” and to relish the sensations as life showers you with loads of good stuff.  Easy.

But other times it’s trickier than having sex on four sharp rocks and more painful than getting a pedicure from a rabid doberman.

That’s the thing with decisions; you don’t know until afterwards whether it was a good one or a bad one.  Here’s just a tiny handful of mine.

  • I decided to live in Amsterdam for 5 months, and despite falling in love with the city the work I was doing lead to a huge flare up of CFS/ME that floored me.
  • I chose to spend way beyond my means in the 1990’s and I’m still paying for it.
  • I decided not to move to London in the early 2000’s.
  • I chose to hop right into work after college rather than go to university.
  • I decided to tell Vanessa I loved her and I never saw her again.

Some of these decisions I’d make again and some, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t.

The real test of a choice – the only real way to know whether it was the right choice or not – is whether you’d make the same choice again knowing how much it cost you.

Sure, you can learn from the choices that didn’t work out and it’s your experience that allows you to weigh up a decision through the lens of what went before (although that whole “weighing up” thing also gives ample room for your choices to get muddled with the worst of you rather than the best of you).  Sometimes though, a decision costs you more than you can afford.

So follow my logic here.

Unless you’ve fitted a flux capacitor to your Prius you can’t know the cost of a choice ahead of time.  And if you can’t know whether the choice you’re about to make is good or bad, the “good” or “bad” value statement becomes redundant.

All you’ve got to go on is what’s right here, right now.

There are 2 parts to what’s right here, right now:

1. What rings true for you, and
2. The quality of experience you want.

So to be able to make a great choice – regardless of how it turns out – you just need to trust in your ability to know those 2 things and to make that choice.

I am fully aware that I can make a decision based on my values at any time. Code #9

You have a power at your disposal that I honestly believe is extraordinary.  The power to make a decision is yours to wield as you see fit.

What are you doing with it?

Comments

  1. Hurrah!

    I discovered 4 years ago that what feels right in my gut is always the right decision – even if it’s a scary or icky or difficult one to make, or even if I can’t quite see the outcome of it yet. That little voice seems to never be wrong, and I have learned to trust it ALMOST completely (we all have slip-ups from time to time…)

    In 2008 I walked out of a high-paying, 15-year career, sold my home, and took a solo backpacking trip around the world…thank you, gut!

    I’ve finally started ending relationships that I knew in my gut weren’t right for me rather than hanging on just to have someone in my life. Oh gut, you make me feel lonely sometimes, but you’re not wrong.

    Those decisions have definitely cost me, but the benefits have outweighed the costs (most of the time. There are still moments. I think they are called “being human”.)

    Interestingly, I have more difficulty with smaller decisions than I do with bigger ones. I agonized over whether or not to buy a hot pink blazer last week (I bought it, and now wonder daily if I should return it to the store), while I purchased a piece of land in Bali 3 years ago with barely an eye twitch (because my gut knew it was the right decision. Crazy, maybe, but right.)

    I’m still practicing, like many of us, but I think I’m really getting the hang of it.

    • Steve Errey says:

      That little voice speaks loud and clear – you just have to practice hearing it : )

  2. Patricia says:

    We need to make some really cruddy decisions by denying our instincts/gut/Higher Self first. It’s the best teacher we have of realizing the importance of going within instead of just letting “logic” rule.

    • I agree Patricia. There is often a battle between heart, head and gut, and it’s easy to lean towards listening to one of the first two rather than the third.

      • Steve Errey says:

        My Dad always said to me “Don’t let your heart rule your head” as I was growing up. Fortunately he pretty much always let his heart rule his head, but every one of us grapples with this. Truth is, all 3 of those things have a role to play but going against your gut/intution normally doesn’t end up that well…

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